Washington DC has been at the forefront of some of the most important moments in the history of women’s civil rights. From the Woman Suffrage Procession of 1913 to the Women’s March of 2017, the nation’s capital continues to serve as a backdrop for supporting women’s rights and recognizing their astonishing contributions to the society. So put on a “pink hat” and explore these areas when on private tours Washington DC to join a chorus of both native and global communities advocating for the equality of women.
Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument
Visit this historic building to learn about the origins of the women’s suffrage and equal rights movements, and those who earned the voting right and introduced the constitutional Equal Rights Amendment. Situated in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the building has been National Women’s Party headquarters since 1929. It serves now as a museum.
The exhibits here comprise artifacts like an automatic voting machine and a paper label that asks people, “Should women be allowed to vote?” Other exhibits include a desk that once belonged to American women’s rights activist, Susan B. Anthony, as well as posters, banners, and sashes used in demonstrations.
National Portrait Gallery
In this art gallery, you will come across a collection that covers not only the Presidents of the US, but also special exhibits and works that highlight some of the country’s most iconic women. The most popular women’s portrait in the museum is that of Michelle Obama. Among other highlights, the gallery features women’s suffrage activists’ portraits, comprising those of Julia Ward Howe and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony’s bronze bust.
Visit the gallery’s third floor and catch the “Bravo!” exhibit, depicting exponents of performing arts such as Ginger Rogers. Else, go to the gallery hosting the exhibit titled “20th Century Americans”, which showcase sculpture, photos, paintings, and prints that portray people who were at the heart of major political and cultural events of the 20th Century.
National Museum of Women in the Arts
This museum is said to be the only one of its kind devoted to celebrating the achievements of women in the performing, literary and visual arts. Two art collectors found it to display female artists’ works that span the 16th Century to the present day.
You can find the works of Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Suzanne Valadon, and Amy Sherald in the museum. Its highlight is arguably “Acid Rain”, a sculpture by Chakaia Booker that blends weaving art with craftwork required to drill, saw, and put together a massive structure.
Vietnam Women’s Memorial
Among thousands of women, mostly nurses, stationed in the warzone Vietnam, Diane Carlson Evans also served as a nurse in the US Army Nurse Corps. She cared for casualties of the Vietnam War in hospitals in select areas of the country.
Out of a feeling that women’s service was yet to be honored, she co-founded in 1984 the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation in order to recognize women’s contributions during the war. The memorial rightly depicts three uniformed women and a soldier in one of their arms, a reminder of the US women’s service.
National Museum of American History
Many of the US’s treasures are displayed in this museum along the National Mall that it is tough to know for first timers where exactly to begin. As you roam around and view Star-Spangled Banner, lunch counter from Greensboro sit-ins, the top hat of Abraham Lincoln, and the iconic droids from Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi movie, there are a collection of artifacts and exhibits that focus on prominent women.
An exhibit featuring several dresses that once belonged to the US’s First Ladies highlights their significant contributions and evolving roles.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Since its opening in 2016, this museum has become one of the extremely popular destinations that people visit when on private tours Washington DC. In the building, you will find a treasure trove of artifacts, tracing back to the slave trade days to Jim Crow period to the Civil Rights movement and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Check out in the museum Harriet Tubman’s collections, the dress Rosa Parks was actually sewing when she declined to give up a bus seat, gymnastics equipment of Gabby Douglas, statues of Serena and Venus Williams, the couch featured in the famous Oprah Winfrey Show, and several other items.
Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum
Clara Barton, one of the most important women in the history of the US, found and served as American Red Cross’s President. She helped to give assistance to injured Civil War soldiers, and assisted several others by founding the office that helped locate thousands of missing soldiers.
The museum takes visitors back to the 1860’s mid, thanks to rooms with period-appropriate wallpaper, windows and faux gas lanterns. Of course, you can visit several other women-focused places when on private Washington DC tours but this is amongst the best ones.